Tuesday, 25 August 2015

New rides worth investigating?

Prompted by my own criticism (in the last post) of our rather 'samey' cycling routes, I've been checking out the map and I've found what could be a good ride... to Bletchingley in Surrey. It's east of Redhill and yes, we've been through the place before – on our ride to Hunger's End in Merstham – but there's a pleasant-looking route, accessible through Caterham and via the Warwick Wold Road. In a nutshell it's the way I ride to Redhill via the backroads of Merstham but instead of hanging right where the Warwick Wold Road adjoins the Bletchingley Road, ironically we take the Merstham Road (by turning left) and this eventually becomes the Pendell Road and then either Big Common Lane (a right turn) or Little Common Lane (a left turn) and that leads us on to Castle Street in Bletchingley.

Once beyond the M25 we ride south to Bletchingley
There's some interesting alternatives too. We could, for instance, ride further east along the A25 and take a left turn into North Park Lane, under the M25 and on to some rough tracks where many options lurk. One of the tracks is Roughetts Lane, which I recall from our Hunger's End trips via the challenging Enterdent, or, alternatively there are rough off-road tracks leading into a huge wooded area, the easterly flank of which is known as Fosterdown Wood while the more westerley tip is referred to as Oldpark Shaw and the middle ground, Ten Acre Shaw. There's even a place called Tupwood Scrubs, but I don't think it's a prison! In fact, there is a Tupwood Scrubs Road that runs right through the wooded area and has two exit points, one on to the A22 heading east and another, heading north, on to the B2030 or Godstone Road, which appears to be right in the heart of Caterham, not far from the North Downs Hospital in the CR3 postal district.

Mercers Park near Redhill
The whole area south of central Caterham, flanked in the south by the M25, seems worthy of exploration, mainly because it's all a bit rural, loads of woods and open land and a few interesting off-road tracks. In fact, talking about off-road tracks, there's a track called Green Lane adjoining Roughetts Lane that travels south through fields with nothing on either side of it. The track becomes Church Lane and travels through the middle of Bletchingley Golf Course and emerges in Bletchingley High Street.

The woods south of Caterham en route to Bletchingley
If we really had the time and the inclination, from Bletchingley we could travel east on the A25, through Godstone and out the other side, still on the A25 and then take a left up Flower Lane, which becomes, yes, you guessed it, Gangers Hill – not good if, like me, you're relying on just eight of 16 gears, so probably not worth it and besides, too much A25 for my liking.

For a clearer look at the maps, simply click on them.

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